New park to attract large industry to Greenville
Greenville County has unveiled plans for a new Class A business and industrial park – a 172-acre Fountain Inn development dubbed Fox Hill Business Park.
Developed by The Sudler Companies, a New Jersey-based real estate firm, the property will bring up to 2.5 million square feet of industrial and distribution space to 189 Milacron Drive near AVX Corp., Bosch Rexroth, ZF Group and Walmart Distribution Center facilities
Construction on a speculative 206,410-square-foot industrial building with office space, trailer storage and full dock packages is expected to begin any day now and reach completion in spring 2021, according to Brian Sudler, principal of The Sudler Companies. Plans for a second 301,320-square-foot speculative and possibly build-to-suit building have also been launched, while up to seven prospective buildings await further development.
Renderings include either a seven-building warehouse-focused park, four-building manufacturing-focused property or a three-building distribution hub with a prospective 1.5 million-square-foot cross docked facility. Entrances to the park, off Greenpond Road and Highway 218, will be launched in the first phase of construction.
“We look to invest in locations that are just business-friendly. Greenville, S.C., for us, is the preeminent location for that,” Sudler said at the Greenville Area Development Corp.’s annual meeting — held online to take COVID-19 precautions. “It’s just an unbelievably beautiful, successful story. … It’s thriving, the commercial real estate industry there is doing very well. The manufacturing is obviously successful, so we are very excited to announce our new park, Foxhill Business Park.”
He said GADC’s collaboration with the Sudler team and Duke Energy’s site selection readiness program helped made the property an easy choice for the company. The park’s access to Interstate 385 and S.C. Highway 418 and proximity to the Atlanta-Charlotte corridor and Greer’s Inland Port also sweetened the pot for the developers.
“They were able to basically deliver this on a kind of silver platter,” Sudler said. “All the utilities are there, the zoning annexation into Fountain Inn and the county was extremely simple and happened in a matter of two months. In other locations, that could take years and millions of dollars.”
County officials said the park is a milestone for a county that has experienced a slowdown in development at times because of a shortage of large parcels connected to utilities.
“We have desperately needed a new Class A business park to attract both global and domestic companies to Greenville County,’ Mark Farris, CEO and president of GADC, said during the presentation. “Not since Augusta Grove, formerly called the Matrix, has Greenville County been able to develop a new business park.”
Duke Energy’s site selection services had zeroed in on the location, purchased from the Marion family of “Swamp Fox” fame, and helped extend energy and other resources to the area with the aid of the city of Fountain Inn, GADC and Greenville Water.
Farris said one of the under-told stories of the project follows the Marion family’s decision to hold out for a development worth the wait. Despite higher offers and residential interest, they held out for a project that would bring lasting investment back into the community, he said.
“They were really enamored with The Sudler Companies and the quality of work that they’d done. They wanted to be able to go to the people that lived in that area and say ‘yes, we’re selling our land, but the kind of development that is coming here is pretty extraordinary for Greenville County. We’re convinced that the quality of this development will be so impressive that you’ll be excited about what’s going to happen,’” he said during an interview with GSA Business Report.
“After a two-year due diligence process, we identified a great piece of property on South 385, and began a national search for developers who had an eye for high-quality business park property,” Farris said. “After a long search, we were connected with The Sudler Companies, a leader in American real estate development for more than a century. Now 20 years in the making, The Sudler Companies, GADC and other partners are proud to announce Foxhill Business Park.”
Farris also noted that as Greenville industry wrestled with a workforce shortage before the COVID-19 pandemic, the park is located in prime real estate adjacent to one of the fastest growing population hubs in the county. Incoming job projections will hinge on the final use of the site, but Farris told GSA Business Report that comparable developments have brought hundreds of new jobs to a region.
“We have already had interest in the property, and we’ve had prospects that have looked at Greenville County, and seen this property. So I’m confident that this will be successful,” Farris said.
The park is one of at least 30 ongoing economic development projects in the county, a record-breaking number, according to Farris. Seventeen of the projects court the manufacturing sector, while 13 others pertain to industries in information technology, office space, headquarters, sales or distribution and logistics, Farris said in a news release.
“Better days are ahead. We’re going to reopen our economy, and we’re going to continue to attract the best businesses in the world to the Greenville area, because of people like you,” Lindsey Graham said to GADC members and listeners during the presentation.
Last year brought capital investment of $401.8 million into the county along with 2,178 new jobs, with $1.1 million in grant funding from the S.C. Department of Commerce, Duke Energy, Piedmont Natural Gas and the state.
“Our work in Greenville County has been a key to fueling growth not just in the Upstate’s automotive sector, but across a variety of industries including life sciences, aerospace, distribution and more,” S.C. Commerce Secretary Bobby Hitt said. “Business is in our blood in South Carolina, and all of Team South Carolina is grateful to have the passionate individuals like you who want to grow economic development in your communities and increase the quality of life.”